Looking to change up your diet in the new year? If so, consider adding more superfoods to your shopping cart to supercharge your meals. Here are six foods you may or may not have heard of that provide a wealth of health benefits.
1. Goji Berries
Also known as wolfberry, the goji berry (Lycium barbarum) grows on a shrub and is native to Asian countries like China. Goji berries are a great source of antioxidants, which shield the body’s cells from the stress and damage of free radicals. They also provide a heavy dose of amino acids, which support lean muscle mass and the body’s vital organs. Try adding dried goji berries to some trail mix or top a salad with them.
2. Blood Oranges
The blood orange (Citrus sinensis) is often smaller than a regular orange and has deep red flesh. Their deep color is due to the presence of antioxidant compounds known as anthocyanins. One serving provides more than three times your daily vitamin C and 36 percent of your daily fiber. Eat them plain or juice them like you would a normal orange and add them to a smoothie for a nutrient boost.
3. Shiitake Mushrooms
The shiitake mushroom (Lentinula edodes) is a type of edible fungus originally from Asia. Cooked, shiitake mushrooms provide B vitamins as well as minerals like zinc and antioxidants like selenium. These nutrients protect the body from free radical damage and support the immune system to fight illness. Add them to cooked quinoa with fresh herbs for a delicious and filling meal.
4. Black Soybeans
Beans make a great substitute for meat and can keep you feeling full throughout the day. Black soybeans are low in carbohydrates but rich in protein for strong muscles, fiber for digestive health and omega-3 essential fatty acids for heart health. Lastly, these beans also get their dark color from antioxidant compounds. Serve these beans just as you would black beans or soybeans as a side dish or puree them with stock and spices for a quick soup.
Although it’s not a raw food, kimchi still deserves to be on the list because of all the amazing benefits it offers as a fermented food. That’s the key word here. Kimchi is cabbage that has been coated with spices and allowed to ferment, which makes it a great source of good bacteria, also known as probiotics, that keep the digestive system running smoothly and the immune system strong. Eating fermented foods maintains the delicate balance between good and bad bacteria in the gut. Try adding some to a sandwich on Ezekiel bread to start.
6. Purple Potatoes
Purple potatoes have a gorgeous deep purple skin and flesh. This is because of anthocyanins, those antioxidant compounds previously mentioned. These potatoes also provide potassium, a mineral and important electrolyte. But don’t worry, they taste similar to more common potato varieties. Feel free to roast them or mash them for a dish that is striking in appearance and supportive of your overall health.
Adding these foods to your regular diet can help you nourish your entire body. Many of their vital extracts can also be found in supplement form should you dislike the taste or are unable to find them.
Here’s to clean eating in 2014. Shop for these foods and supplements and so much more at eVitamins. Have a great week!